Bowser was feeling confident. He was feeling confident because this time, he was sure he would beat Mario. He never had before, but this time he was sure Mario wouldn't be able to get past his minions.

He had figured out the reason why Mario always got past his minions. Usually, he kidnapped Peach himself, while his minions set up their defense themselves. And because they weren't that bright, Mario always got past them. This time, he had let his minions kidnap Princess Peach while he organized the defenses. Even his idiot minions couldn't mess up kidnapping Peach. And he would finally beat Mario! He was so excited for that mustached midget-er, sorry, that word wasn't socially acceptable anymore, was it? He meant short person-to finally acknowledge he was better than him!

Now, it was time to gloat to Peach. He opened the door to her room, and-wait. "You're not Princess Peach." Whoever this elegant-looking woman was, she wasn't Peach. "Can't those fools do anything right? They are so not getting a Christmas bonus this year." "Who are you?"

"My name is Princess Zelda," the elegant woman said. Were those ears pointed? "I'm here with the Interdimensional Princess Exchange Program. Princess Peach and I both decided we could use a change of scenery, so she's filling in for me, and vice versa." She looked out the window. "It's nice, this kingdom. Shame about what you're going to do to it."

"What do you mean, what I'm going to do to it?" What was this Princess Zelda even talking about?

"You know, reshape it in your image? That's what you're trying to do, right? You're after the Triforce, so you can rule the Mushroom Kingdom, right?" Huh?

"Triforce?" The heck was a Triforce?

"All right, not the Triforce then. But you still kidnapped me so you could use my magic to conquer the Mushroom Kingdom, right?"

Magic? What? "No! Why would you think that?"

"Well, what other reason is there to kidnap a princess?" Princess Zelda said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

" marry her?" What kind of kingdom did Princess Zelda even come from?

"And, by 'marry', you don't mean 'use as a magic fuel reserve'?" Zelda asked, confused.

" What?"

"Or 'use as a human sacrifice to revive the Demon King'?" Wait, what?

"No! What the heck? Did you-"

"You literally just kidnapped me to marry me? Are you even worried I might kill you in your sleep?" What? Who even was this princess? What kind of kingdom was Peach even in right now? Violence-land?

"Well, I wanted to kidnap and marry Peach..."

"Even so, you just wanted to marry her? No scheme to become a god, or something of the sort?" Zelda seemed almost insulted by the simplicity of the plan.

"Well, no. I also wanted to beat Mario when he comes to rescue her, or you in this case, and then rub his face in it when he fails! But can we get back to the human sacrifice thi-"

"Okay, I've heard enough," Zelda said, looking at Bowser like he was the most pathetic thing she'd ever seen. "This was a tremendous waste of my time, so here's what I'm going to do." As she spoke, a strange glowing bow and arrows appeared in her hands. "I'm going to give you ten seconds to run away. Then I'm going to take over this castle."

Oh, crap.

It hadn't been easy, but Mario had made it through all of the worlds. Now he just needed to get through Bowser's lair, and then he'd...wait, was Bowser wearing a bow tie? And who was that regal-looking woman who clearly wasn't Peach?

"Your raspberry iced tea, Your Excellency," Bowser said, holding a tray of drinks. He visibly cringed while she took a sip, and when she looked at him his head visibly backed into his shell.

"This is terrible. It tastes like sugar water," she said. Upon noticing Mario, she turned back to Bowser. "Well? Why haven't you greeted the guest?"

"I'm sorry, Your Excellency!" Bowser said quickly. What was happening? "Good afternoon, Mario. Can I get you anything to drink? Or anything to eat?"

"Ah, no, thank you," Mario declined politely. In an undertone, he asked of no one in particular, "What a-happened here?"

"I am simply teaching these fools a lesson," said the regal woman. "Don't kidnap a powerful sorceress if you can't hold her prisoner!" she snapped, more at Bowser than him. "Honestly, there's a reason Ganon and Vaati are the only ones who try," she said, more to herself.

"Mama mia," Mario thought. To the regal woman, he asked, "Where is Princess Peach?"

"In Hyrule," she answered. "I just hope Link isn't having too much trouble without me."


"Please! I'll never complain about Bowser constantly trying to kidnap me again! Just save me!" Peach screamed as she cowered in the corner of the room where Ganon and Link were fighting.

Both the hero and the king of evil looked at each other. Ganon sighed. "Just take her and go."

I'm still alive. I just haven't felt motivated to write much lately, due to a combination of schoolwork, election stress, and getting a new Nintendo Switch. I should be able to get back to writing soon. This is just something to get the creative juices flowing, y'know?